The tonsils are lymph tissue located on either side of the throat. They are part of the immune system and aid in fighting disease. Tonsillitis most often occurs in children ranging from age 5 to 15; however, our physicians have treated patients of all ages with this condition. Symptoms & Causes Tonsillitis may be a viral infection. The most common cause of tonsillitis is streptococcus – the same germ that causes strep throat. Some of the symptoms of pediatric tonsillitis include a sore and swollen throat, a fever, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. The tonsils may also have a gray, yellow or white coating on them. Highly contagious, tonsillitis can be spread by coughing, sneezing or touch. Diagnosis & Treatment One of our experienced Pediatric ENT specialists will determine an appropriate treatment plan. Many cases of tonsillitis can be treated with a strong regimen of antibiotics. For recurrent or chronic tonsillitis, a tonsillectomy may be recommended. The following list of indications can help determine the need for tonsillectomy. The list was compiled based on the Minneapolis/St. Paul region standards of care and national standards.
  • Tonsil or adenoidal enlargement with airway obstruction and sleep disturbance
  • Orofacial growth abnormalities caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Chronic ear infections caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Infection of the tonsils or adenoids
  • Recurring tonsillitis, ear infections and streptococcal tonsillitis
  • Persistent strep throat that does not respond to medical therapy
  • Chronic sore throat not attributable to other causes
  • Chronic tonsillitis that does not respond to antibiotic treatment
  • Chronic inflamed tonsillar with bad breath
  • Chronic snoring
A tonsillectomy is recommended only after thorough evaluation and consideration of alternative treatments. Tonsillectomy is one of the most common major surgeries.